Climate protesters force BP oil rig to make second U-turn amid ongoing direct action

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An oil rig at the centre of a protest by environmental campaigners has been forced to make a second ‘U-turn’ on its way to a North Sea field.

The Transocean PBLJ rig was heading to the Vorlich oil field after being occupied by activists in the Cromarty Firth, north of Inverness, between Sunday and Friday. It had left the area on Saturday but was being pursued by Greenpeace’s ship, the Arctic Sunrise, and activists failed in an attempt to reboard the rig again on Sunday morning. The ship then overtook the 27,000-tonne rig, which was under contract to BP, 83 miles off the Scottish coast at 1pm, according to the organisation. Approximately 20 miles away from the drill site, the rig made a U-turn and headed on the same route it came from when leaving Cromarty. It was heading back towards the oil field on Monday morning before turning back towards land at 10.30am, the campaigners said.

Greenpeace is now following the rig back to land. Greenpeace activist Sarah North said:

We are determined to stop BP drilling new oil wells in the North Sea. The ball is in BP’s court.

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A BP spokesman, meanwhile, called activists’ actions “reckless”. And he insisted that Greenpeace was “choosing to wilfully break the law”.

Activists at BP or Not BP? have previously stressed that:

BP’s extractive business model represents a kind of modern-day colonialism… We refuse to accept the linked injustices of extractivism, colonialism, and climate change.

The group has also reminded people that:

Just a few months before the invasion and occupation of Iraq, BP lobbied the British government to help the company access Iraq’s immense oil reserves.

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